By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
It’s hard to believe that summer is nearly over. When I was a kid, we usually did not return to school until later in August or even after Labor Day. Now, most schools across Tennessee already have begun.
It is a reminder that time is fleeting.
We think we have plenty of time, but unfortunately, too many of us waste valuable time that God gives us, myself included. James 4 (HCSB) reminds us, “… For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.”
Because time is short, we need to be diligent to use the time God has given us. Life is short. The Bible reminds us over and over that we are not guaranteed the next second, much less the next day or year.
Ephesians 5:15-16 (HCSB) exhorts us to “Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk — not as unwise people but wise — making the most of the time, because the days are evil.”
God has placed His people in today’s world for a reason. We are to be salt and light in a world that is dark. It only takes a cursory glance at the daily headlines or less than a few minutes watching the morning news. I’m sure it’s the same all across Tennessee, but in Nashville, hardly a day goes by when reporters are not reporting a murder or robbery that occurred overnight.
Christians have an obligation to use our time wisely, to make a difference in the world. Yes, we are all busy. We can all find things to do. The Bible tells us to tithe a 10th of our income back to God. After all, He gave us what we have in the first place.
I also think God wants us to give Him our time as well — not only the private time we spend with Him in His Word and in prayer, but by using our time to spread the gospel and to help meet the needs of others.
Christians, especially Baptists, in Tennessee have an opportunity to use our time to help make a difference. The Tennessee Baptist Mission Board recently launched the I Stand for Life initiative. “I Stand for Life” is a petition campaign to garner thousands of signatures from Tennessee Baptists in an effort to let Tennessee’s lawmakers know that Tennessee Baptists would like to see legislation passed that protects the lives of unborn children. The petition officially launched July 23 and can be found at istandforlife.org.
The effort was initiated by Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the TBMB.
Davis said he believes legislation that is currently being debated by state legislators is “too important,” and that it is legislation about which Tennessee Baptists need to be informed and heard. He is asking for Tennessee Baptists to get behind this legislation and to let their legislators know it is important.
Davis observed, “I believe Tennessee Baptists are strongly pro-life and the laws being considered are too important for us to miss an opportunity to be heard on the issue of life and abortion.”
“As recently as the 2015 Summit, messengers from churches across our state made a clear and strong statement in support of protecting the lives of the unborn, affirmed life from conception and denounced the practice of abortion. This petition reflects our collective and unified position.”
Time is of the essence. We need to let our legislators know that we believe life begins at conception. If you have not signed the online petition, please do so and ask your friends to do so as well.
Read Esther 4:14. I believe the admonition that is relevant to God’s people today: “If you keep silent at this time, liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s house will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.”
Maybe, just maybe, Tennessee Baptists, God has put us on planet earth at this strategic time “for such a time as this.” Let’s use our time wisely for the Lord.